Since the 1970s, the McFetridge Sports Center (MSC) has been providing the community with a unique recreational facility. Named in honor of William McFetridge who served as the Chicago Park District president in 1967 and then as vice-president for the next 22 years, MSC offers a variety of sporting opportunities for people of all ages and skill levels.
MSC welcomes the community every day for its year-round competitive and recreational ice skating, hockey, and tennis programs, as well as special events. Throughout the years, the McFetridge Sports Center has provided the public with the excitement of participating in not only individual skating, hockey, and tennis activities, but allowed the community to play in great competitions such as the figure skating Schools’ Out Competition, which is in its 23rd year; ice hockey tournaments for the home team Bulldogs; and long-standing annual tennis tournaments such as the McFetridge Open and Turkey Trot as well as the annual Figure Skating Ice Show.
Housing the Chicago Park District’s only indoor ice rink and indoor tennis courts, McFetridge Sports Center (MSC) is full of activity 18 hours a day, 7 days a week!
California Park, which takes its name from adjacent California Avenue, is one of six parks created by the River Park District. Established in 1917, the district was one of 22 independent park systems consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. Northwest Chicago residents formed the River Park District to provide recreational opportunities along the North Branch of the Chicago River and the North Shore Channel and to prevent commercial encroachments there. Soon after its formation, the park district began to purchase more than 13 acres south of Irving Park Road, between California Avenue and the North Shore Channel. Although land acquisition dragged on until 1931, development began in 1920, when Leesely Brothers prepared a landscape plan. Improvements were confined largely to plantings until 1927, when the River Park District began construction of an outdoor swimming pool that was, for a time, Illinois’s largest. An athletic field, baseball diamonds, and playgrounds followed in 1928, as did a small brick fieldhouse designed by Chicago architect Clarence Hatzfeld.
In the 1970s, the Chicago Park District demolished the original fieldhouse and erected a new changing facility in its place. The park district also constructed an impressive new indoor sports complex, the first of its kind for the park district. The structure contains a year-round ice rink for figure skating and hockey, as well as six tennis courts at McFetridge Sports Center!